When you begin to notice that your child is stuttering, you may be wondering what you can do to help. Rather than trying to stop the stutter altogether, it is important to instead find ways to support their fluency. Here’s what you can do:
Focus on slowing down when you speak with your child. You should still sound natural, just slow down your full speed, especially if you are normally a fast talker. This opens the door for relaxed communication and gives your child the time they need to organize their thoughts. Keep your body language relaxed as well, making sure that you are not outwardly expressing impatience.
Take a short pause before responding when you speak to your child. This helps create an environment that supports fluent speech. The Stuttering Foundation of America recommends waiting two seconds before responding. This may also help the child adopt a slowed rate of speaking that can help their fluency.
Respond to the Message
Don’t focus on how your child’s speech sounds; focus on what they are trying to tell you. It is much more important for them to feel understood than to speak according to expectations. Showing your anxiety towards their speech is not helpful. Give your child your full attention to show them that you are interested in what they have to say, not how they say it.
Slow The Questions
Questions require a response, so they put pressure on speech to meet that expectation. Try using statements instead. When asking a question, make sure to wait for your child to answer before asking another.
Bite Your Tongue
It is not helpful to tell the child to take their time, slow down, try again, or take a deep breath. Avoid giving that instinctive advice. Focus instead on finding ways to create a calm environment, such as not rushing or putting time pressure on.
Let Them Finish
As long as your child is not getting upset by the struggle they are experiencing, it is better to let them finish what they are saying on their own. Keep normal eye contact, but avoid finish their sentence yourself.
SpeechEasy is a combination of proven technology and techniques which can be used to reduce stuttering. Worn in one ear and similar in appearance to a hearing aid, SpeechEasy has helped thousands increase their ability to communicate effectively and confidently. The program that comes with every SpeechEasy is supported by a team of fluency professionals who truly care about your success. Contact us today!